Wednesday, July 2, 2014
The Dark Side of Soccer's Next Big Stage
As many of us have seen before, the small Middle Eastern country of Qatar will host the 2022 World Cup. Qatar, with its 280,000 citizens and more than 1.2 million migrant workers, is in a state of disarray as they prepare to host soccer’s biggest stage. This disarray is attributed to the terrible working conditions of the migrant workers and the international scrutiny that has followed the discovery of these human rights atrocities,
Qatar’s migrant workers, originating from India, Pakistan, Nepal, the Philippines, and elsewhere have died in staggering numbers since the construction of the 12 state of the art stadiums has begun. Of solely the Indian and Nepalese migrant workers, over 900 workers are claimed to have been killed by terrible working conditions in the construction camps. The workers face this oppression due to the terrible practice known as the nation’s kafala employment system. Jeremy Stahl, senior editor of the online news service Slate, describes kafala as “…aptly described as modern-day slavery. Through kafala, employers are allowed to confiscate a migrant’s passport and withhold exit visas, effectively preventing that person from leaving the country.” In this situation, if the worker steps out of line in any way, they will not be able to leave the country and will be forced to work around the country for the rest of their lives. This is all for soccer’s biggest stage, The World Cup.
Qatar gained their status as the Host of the 2022 World Cup in a “shady and stunning decision” by FIFA. Qatar, a scorching hot desert of a country with very little soccer interest aside from the revenue it will bring in, surprisingly beat out countries such as England, Germany, and the United States as Hosts of the 2022 World Cup. Many have contributed this success to bribes paid by the oil state of Qatar to those in FIFA that mad the 2022 World Cup decision. Either way, the country of Qatar will need to increase its strides towards eliminating the human rights violations that have been plaguing the development of the World Cup in Qatar. Otherwise the lives of an estimated 4000 workers will be lost, and possibly Qatar’s right to host the World Cup in 2022.